Bellair on the Park

When: Sales began in 1987

Where: 22 and 24 Hanover Road

Who: Bramalea Limited

What I Know: This land was long set aside for high density residential dating back to the 1969 Master Plan. The Sierra tower to the west of the complex was begun first, but is completely separate. These are among the most luxurious and expensive of the condominium apartments in Bramalea.

The layout of the complex follows a similar format used by Bramalea Limited at the time across North America, with towers surrounded by a lush private park-like setting and featuring a luxurious recreation centre.

The prices for the units varied rather dramatically over time, tied to changes in the economy and real estate market. From a starting price for units of $99,900 in 1987, they soared to starting at $225,000 in 1989, then deflating to a starting price of $154,900 in 1991.

The two towers have walls of glass common with Bramalea Limited’s designs at the time. Only two units per floor have balconies, and a number of units have sun rooms.

Tower 1 is 22 floors tall, and Tower 2, on the east side, is 24 floors tall making them among the tallest of all of the towers in Bramalea, only surpassed by a few buildings in the Lisa Street neighbourhood.

Both towers have nearly identical plans, with different names, in mirror image of each other. I am missing a few plans from Tower 1 – but I have the corresponding plans for Tower 2.

A special thank you to Richard F. for sharing these floor plans with me!

 

87 aug 8

Toronto Star, August 8, 1987

87 oct 3

Toronto Star, October 3, 1987

87 oct 24

Toronto Star, October 24, 1987

88 Jan 16

Toronto Star, January 16, 1988

88 Jan 23a

88 Jan 23b

Toronto Star, January 23, 1988

88 oct 8

Toronto Star, October 8, 1988

89 nov 11

Toronto Star, November 11, 1989

89 dec 9

Toronto Star, December 9, 1989

90 apr 21

Toronto Star, April 21, 1990

91 may 11

Toronto Star, May 11, 1991

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CCF_000025IMG_2635IMG_2636

CCF_000016CCF_000017CCF_000018CCF_000019CCF_000020

CCF_000027CCF_000028CCF_000030

Tower 2 Plans:

CCF_000004CCF_000005CCF_000006CCF_000007CCF_000008CCF_000009CCF_000010CCF_000011CCF_000012CCF_000013

Bramalea’s World, c. 1985

I came across this piece of Bramalea ephemera and I wanted to share. It is a great snapshot of how large Bramalea Limited was in 1985, with developments in Bramalea and beyond.

If any readers have plans/brochures of Bramalea Limited’s projects outside of Bramalea I would also like to share those on this blog – so please send them my way!

4747_0014747_0034747_0044747_0054747_0064748_0014748_0024748_0034748_0044748_0054748_0064747_002

Miscellaneous Bramalea Articles and Advetisements from the 1980s and 1990s

Below are a series of articles and advertisements about Bramalea Limited from the 1980s and 1990s. They show the rise and success of the company as it rapidly expanded beyond the borders of Bramalea itself, but then start to become more negative as the company struggled in the mid-1990s, ending in bankruptcy. The last newspaper image below is perhaps the most tragic of all, as it is an auction notice to sell off the very last remains of the company’s assets, including office furniture.

25Aug84

Toronto Star, August 25, 1984

87aug8

Toronto Star, August 8, 1987

87jun27

Toronto Star, June 27, 198788jul9

Toronto Star, July 9, 198888may28

Toronto Star, May 28, 198892feb22

Toronto Star, February 22, 199292nov21

Toronto Star, November 21, 199292oct17

Toronto Star, October 17, 199293feb27

Toronto Star, February 27, 199395apr27

Toronto Star, April 27, 199595mar31

Toronto Star, March 31, 199595mar31b95may21

Toronto Star, May 21, 1995

Historical Newspaper Articles on Bramalea

I recently realized that I have a number of general newspaper articles on Bramalea that should be shared on the blog. They are great snapshots of the history of Bramalea and the company that built the city. Below are a handful of articles from the 1950s and 1960s:

58may14

Toronto Daily Star, May 14, 1959

58nov15-gm

The Globe and Mail, November 15, 1958

61jun16

Toronto Daily Star, June 16, 1961

 

64jan17

Toronto Daily Star, January 17, 1964

65mar31

Toronto Daily Star, March 1, 1965

 

68may31

Toronto Daily Star, May 31, 1968

69aug2

Toronto Daily Star, August 2, 1969

69aug23

Toronto Daily Star, August 23, 1969

69may14

69may14a

Toronto Daily Star, May 14, 1969

69sept12

Toronto Daily Star, September 12, 1969

Hampton Landing by the Lake

When: Built circa 1996

Where: Provincial Place

Who: Begun by Bramalea Limited, but completed by Aspen Ridge Homes

What I Know: I cannot remember if Bramalea Limited actually begun construction in 1994/1995 before they went Bankrupt. I do remember visiting the model homes at the site in 1996 when Aspen Ridge Homes took over.

The format of these plans are large – 22 x 17 inches when opened, so they were a challenge to scan! I am not sure why builders moved to the format (many still have large plans), but they sure do make them hard to store, scan and share.

I am missing the plans for TH6 shown on the site plan (I am not sure what the name of the plan was), so if any of my readers has the plan I would love to add it. Also, if anyone has the original marketing materials from when Bramalea Limited had the project they would be good to share. I have always wondered if they had the exact same floor plans – as the images in the newspaper advertisements look the same.

The townhomes in this area are designed with tunnels leading from the back of the garage or basement to the yard allowing access for bringing a lawnmower through. This design element removes the need for right-of-way access through adjacent back yards as is the case in some freehold townhouse developments.

94oct1
Toronto Star, October 1, 1994
94oct22
Toronto Star, October 22, 1994

94oct22a

95jan14
Toronto Star, January 14, 1995

 

95feb25
Toronto Star, February 25, 1995
96may4
Toronto Star, May 4, 1996
image-2
This site plan from 1988 appears to be for condominium towers proposed for the site. I seem to recall reading or hearing about how there was local backlash towards this proposal as towers were seen as inappropriate for the area with its low-density housing.
image
I am not sure where this article if from, but I found it among the plans I have for the P-Section.

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Anatomy of a Plan – Journey’s End

It has been a really long time since I published an installment in my “Anatomy of a Plan” series, so here is a new one!

During the early years of Bramalea, one of the more popular bungalow designs was called the Journey’s End. The layout had a lasting legacy in Bramalea, as many of the bungalow and back-split designs built over the years are a variation on this design.

i

j
c. 1964-1967, B and D-Section.

The layout of the Journey’s End has an L-Shaped living and dining room combination, with the kitchen tucked in to the crux of the L shape and the entry and staircase beside the living room. At the back of the house are 3 bedrooms, with the bathroom located behind the kitchen. Much like many designs in Bramalea, the roots of such a layout can be found in the historic Foursquare plan for 2-storey houses (see the post on my other blog: The Enduring Foursquare). This 2-storey layout was essentially adapted to a one-storey design with the bedrooms placed behind the living spaces instead of above them. Please also see my older post on the Raised Bungalow in Bramalea.

A key feature of this design is that there is a back door located behind the staircase to the basement. As you will see, in later (and narrower) incarnations of this design a back door is not possible, so the only way to the back yard is often only through a side door. This is common issue with many bungalow and back-split designs with the bedrooms at the back of the house.

The basic layout of the Journey’s End was reproduced well in to the 1970s under different names, but with the same basic layout:

016

c. 1970-1972, G-Section.

004
c. 1971-1972, G-Section.
e
c. 1970s, M-Section.

The Journey’s End design was also adapted as a back-split. The layout is similar, except for the stairs are moved to the middle of the house to link the change in levels at the back of the plan. The door to the yard is now a side door tucked in behind the garage with access to the basement stairs.

0052c. 1964-1965, B-Section.

003
c. 1971-1972, G-Section.

The Prides Fancy design below is slightly different as the bathroom is located behind the dining room, but still follows the same basic layout. Unfortunately, my only copy of the plan is cut off at the top.

0062
c. 1964-1965, B-Section.

In some of the back-split variations, the garage is moved to the living room side of the house.

018
c. 1970-1972, G-Section.

c

d
c. 1972, G-Section.
f (2)
c. 1970s, M-Section.

The layout was also adapted as a semi-detached design in both bungalow and back-split versions, both with and without a garage. Notice how the Vanity Flair design does not have a back door to the yard; instead there is a side door near the front of the house.

f
1962-1965, C and D-Section.

Many semi-detached variations of the design have the bathroom behind the kitchen or staircase, yet the same L-shape arrangement of living and dining rooms remain.

t
c. 1962-1965, C and D-Section.
l (2)
c. 1962-1965, C and D-Section.
003 (2)
c. 1971-1972, G-Section.
004 (2)

c. 1971-1972, G-Section.

005 (3)

c. 1971-1972, G-Section.

By the 1980s the popularity of such a design for newly-built houses in Bramalea began to wane as bungalows and split level houses became less common. Yet, hints of the basic layout still appeared in some designs:

001

c. 1979-1980, P-Section/Professor’s Lake.

026

027

c. 1980-1982, L-Section.

There are likely many other designs in Bramalea similar to the Journey’s End – these are just a sampling. If you know of any others, I would love to hear from you!

Times have changed…and so have standard features in houses.

Today when you buy a new house the builder may highlight their standard features such as hardwood floors, 9-foot ceilings or granite counters – but in the past standard features for houses were quite different. In some cases the features that were advertised may now be viewed as negatives. I pulled a handful of old marketing material for houses in Bramalea, and here is what I found – hopefully some of these will take you down memory lane!

Also, you can click on the neighbourhood names to link to the full posts on each area.

a

Advertisement for houses in the A-Section (early 1960s). At the time wall paneling was a highlight and storm windows were common.

aa 65-67

Southgate Village in the D-Section (1965-1967). I am actually impressed that the houses came with shrubs! Some designs came with electric heating and carports…both of which may not seem like highlights today.

b 69-72

Bramalea Townhouses in parts of the C, D and F-Sections (1970-1972). Drapery tracks were included!

c

Westgate in the B-Section (1964-1965). I am not sure what a “Hollywood style vanity” is. At the time coloured bathroom fixtures and linoleum tiles were considered good standard features.

d

Bramalea in Southdown Estates in Mississauga (c. 1972) – although similar plans were built in Bramalea. Aluminum siding was worthy of mention.

e

Also from Southdown Estates. Formica and Arborite were seen as a plus as they are easy-to-clean!

f

A final Southdown Estates example. Vinyl asbestos flooring! Eek! I am not sure that similar models built in Bramalea had this type of flooring…but it is possible.

g

Bay Meadows in the M-Section (1976), and the design was likely also built in Other areas of Bramalea. What is a “post-formed” laminate counter?

h the strand 81-82

The Strand in the J and N-Sections (1981-1983). Quality broadloom, vinyl flooring and aluminium siding were all seen as worthy of mention as standard features.

hh blue mount 81-82

Blue Mount Estates in the L-Section (1980-1982). A paneled recreation room was seen as a good thing (I remember the one we had when I was a kid!), as well as a dropped ceiling with florescent lighting in the kitchen (remember the so-called “Florida ceilings”!).

i showcase 2000 82

Showcase 2000 in the section without a letter (1982). What is a “hammered Swedish steel picket”? Also, remember when dishwashers were not standard and houses came with a cupboard that you could remove to add one if you wanted.

j columbus bay 83-84

Columbus Bay in the P-Section (1982-1985). Here upgrades included stippled ceilings, arborite or formica counters, a smoke detector (just one), and a coloured exhaust hood fan (I wonder how many colours they offered?).

l 1988 NEW

Nortonville Estates West in the L-Section (1988). Back when having a bidet and wet bar were popular.

Thirty or so years from now I am sure we will look back and muse about the standard features in houses built today!

 

The Heart Lake Mystery

I have a bit of a mystery that perhaps my readers can help me solve. As far as I know Bramalea Limited never built in the Villages of Heart Lake area of Brampton during the 1970s. Yet, there is one semi-detached paring in that area that is a carbon-copy of Bramalea Limited’s plans built in the L-Section of Bramalea (specifically, in the Moore Park and Bramalea Estates Semis neighbourhoods).

So, did a builder completely copy the design…or did Bramalea Limited just built this one pair for some reason?

Below is the pair in the Villages of Heart Lake:

amberwood sq

Here are two images of the same design in Bramalea (with updated windows):Laurelcrest leacrest

Bramalea Limited also built the same design in Amberlea, Pickering, as shown below.

pickering Shadybrook

Below is a portion of an article from 1977 showing the model homes for Bramalea Estates Semis showing the design on the left.

77nov5

Toronto Star, November 5, 1977

I would love to read any insights or theories from my blog readers.

The Section without a letter

Located just west of the B-Section is a small pocket of houses in an area that does not fall under any of the letter sections. The streets in the area start with all sorts of letters: Floribunda, Terese, Sandringham, Carleton, Lincoln, Franklin, Lisa and Silver Maple. I have no idea why this area was never assigned a letter…If anyone knows why, please let me know!
map2

master plan

legend

According to the 1969 Master plan the area was to have high density housing along what became Lisa Street, medium density just south of Clark Boulevard (where townhouses were eventually built) and low density housing in the southern portion (where detached houses were built), plus a school. Aside from the school that was never built, the area was built similarly to the plan, although townhouses were also built in part of the area slated as low density housing.

The north section along Lisa Street is lined with residential towers as seen in my posting on Lisa Street. This area could almost be an extension of the L-Section to the north, yet Silver Maple Court does not fit in with this theory.

I do not have much information on the townhouses, except for this Toronto Star advertisement from January 28, 1978 for an area called “Orchard Place”. I recall my parents telling me that there were apple orchards in the area, so I assume the name came from what the area used to be.

78jan28

Some of the townhouses along Carleton Place are staggered, creating an interesting streetscape (image courtesy of Google Maps):
carleton

The detached houses in the area were built as part of Showcase 2000. The yards behind some of these houses are quite large and there is a forested area at the heart of the neighbourhood (image courtesy of Google Maps):
floribundaI wish I knew more about this area, so if anyone has any information and/or stories please do share!